published Friday, August 24th, 2012

Chattanooga Police Department officer in alcohol probe resigns

A Chattanooga Police Department officer, who is accused of having alcohol in his system while working at Riverbend in June, worked his last day Thursday.

Steve Jones, a former traffic officer, worked at the department for 25 years. He recently tendered his resignation, said Chattanooga Police Chief Bobby Dodd.

"He decided he would retire. There were no criminal charges," Dodd said.

Jones, 49, will receive his pension and qualified for two months in the deferred retirement option plan. In 2011, he was listed as a master patrol officer and made an annual salary of $51,827.

Jones was placed on leave after another officer smelled alcohol on his breath at the music festival. Jones was riding a patrol motorcycle at Riverbend and working in a group of about six traffic investigators. They were assigned to patrol the Olgiati Bridge to prevent drivers from stopping on the bridge to watch fireworks.

A blood-alcohol test came back below the legal limit for Jones, but department policy prevents officers from drinking eight hours before going working.

Jones was never criminally charged and there was no traffic collision as a result of his consumption, according to police. He could not be reached for comment Thursday.

After an internal affairs investigation was opened into the Riverbend incident, the remainder of Jones's time at the department was spent working in property where he had no arrest powers.

Dodd said the internal investigation will continue even though Jones is no longer with the department.

Jones' supervisor, 44-year-old Sgt. Chad Sullivan, has a pending violation of failure to supervise as a result of Jones' drinking incident.

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